After Monday night’s 3-1 loss away to Brentford FC, the out-of-sorts and aging midfield of Liverpool FC is back under scrutiny.
Despite a recent run of four consecutive victories prior to the game at the Gtech stadium, the midfield options that Liverpool currently have available have not managed to shake the suspicion surrounding them.
As Jamie Carragher noted for Sky Sports in his post match comments, Liverpool’s midfield appear to be unable to carry out the task their manager is demanding from them.
Thiago Alcantara, a footballing maestro that we can all certainly appreciate, is not a high-pressing all-action centre midfield player who can close down opponents with ease.
Captain Jordan Henderson does not seem to be able to carry the fight and aggression towards opponents as much as he could in recent seasons. The skipper has been at Liverpool since 2011.
Fabinho, rightly exalted as the best defensive fulcrum across Europe for a number of seasons, has been out of form since the start of the campaign. His return from international duty with Brazil in Qatar does not appear to have reignited his ability to control midfield.
With Chelsea recently taking the lead in the race to sign World Cup winning centre midfielder Enzo Fernandez from Benfica, it seems Liverpool must avert their attention to alternative signatures.
As reported earlier on this site via the Telegraph, Liverpool are interested in Portuguese starlet Matheus Nunes at Wolves. Nunes shares a profile that would be welcome at Anfield.
Quick, direct with the ball and full of persistence out of possession, Liverpool fans could easily see this young player fitting into Jurgen Klopp’s high-pressing approach.
Another Premier League midfielder who has caught the eye with his energy and quality on the ball is Bruno Guimarães. The Brazilian’s driving runs with the ball from midfield this season has been as impressive as his tenacity to with the ball back when out of possession. It is unlikely that Newcastle will allow their new star player to leave a project that only in its infancy.
Moisés Caicedo at Brighton has also been linked with Merseyside. This energetic, young and tough-tackling midfield player is certainly a strong contender to help solve this problem Liverpool are suffering from. The Ecuadorian also has vital Premier League experience that might make the difference in whom the club chooses.
Some lesser known options exist across the continent. These players would like cost much less than the current Premier League stars. To find a similar profile to Fabinho would need look no further than to Képhren Thuram of OGC Nice in Ligue 1.
The son of French legend Lilian and brother to Marcus, Képhren Thuram is already a direct, dynamic and deep-lying centre midfielder. Standing at 6ft 4, the left-footed 21 year-old player would give Jurgen Klopp a dynamic he does not already possess. With 96 Ligue 1 appearances under his belt, the youngest of the Thuram boys might be an option worth considering for Liverpool FC.
Another player that could aid Jurgen Klopp’s men is Dutch midfielder Teun Koopmeiners at Atalanta B.C in Serie A. Even though Koopmeiners has World Cup and Champions League experience, Koopmeiners would be a less high-profile and less costly option for Liverpool.
This left-footed 24 year-old can break up play and drop deep in beside his centre backs where he likes to collect the ball and initiate attacks. The Dutchman is known for being a creative, deep-lying midfielder who can shoot from range with success. He already has one hat-trick during his time in Italy.
Signing Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund will still be the number objective for club and fans alike yet the Englishman will need assistance if he is to lead Liverpool back to the promised land.